INJURED Brisbane Broncos winger and Emu Park son Jharal Yow Yeh has his fingers and toes crossed to be up and running before for the team's pre-season training before Christmas.
Hobbling around the Rockhampton Showgrounds complex yesterday at the Former Origin Greats (FOGS) Artie expo, Yow Yeh was still noticeably not 100%.
Strapped up in a leg brace when The Morning Bulletin spoke with him yesterday, he said it would be about six weeks before the straps came off.
Even then he would still have to take it easy, as doctors are not expecting him to be fully recovered until next year, he said.
"I haven't got much range in my ankle but it's slowly getting there," he said.
A tough six weeks in hospital earlier this year, nursing a "motorbike-like" injury, has given Yow Yeh a new perspective on life and changed his mental ball game completely.
The injured winger was back in "my family's home ground" yesterday for a meet-and-greet session with young indigenous students at the Former Origin Greats (FOGS) Artie expo at the Rockhampton Showgrounds.
Yow Yeh has been off the field since March after he suffered a compound fracture when he dislocated his right ankle during a match against South's Rabbitohs.
Such was the seriousness of the injury, broken bone pierced through Yow Yeh's lower right leg, leaving the swift winger in agony in the in-goal area after Rabbitohs' Dylan Farrell came crashing down on his right ankle.
He said he was in very high spirits since the accident but the pain of watching the boys from the sideline agitated him a little.
His goal now is to recover in time for round one of the NRL competition next year.
"To see the boys not doing so well is hard for me, especially at such an important part of the competition," he said.
"My goal obviously is to take things easy, so it doesn't really matter if I'm ready to play by round one next year or round 14 next year."
With such a crucial match ahead for the Broncos on Friday, against the Melbourne Storm in Brisbane, Yow Yeh said he was feeling for coach Andrew Griffin as the team's injury tally takes its toll.
Broncos lock Corey Parker could be a late addition to the side after testing his injured shoulder yesterday but second rower Alex Glenn is expected to miss the game with a hamstring injury. "He's (Griffin) going through a tough time at the moment with six of the boys out with injury, but that's no excuse for the team," he said.
"There have been a lot of bad calls on field and it's taking its toll." For now though he is making the most of his role as an ambassador for FOGS and a role model for young indigenous students.
"Kids aren't willing to listen to their teacher and that's just a fact," he said. "If the person they look up to is telling them to do the best of their abilities then they are more likely to listen.
"I'm glad that I can offer these young people advice so they can be the best that they can."